See Also: Saturated Fat; Trans Fats ; Article, Fat Facts
FATS, DIETARY FATS: FAT TRIVIA
20% of the fuel used to power Amtrak's Heartland Flyer comes from rendered beef fat.
• If you eat breakfast or dinner in a restaurant on a regular basis, your chances of becoming obese are doubled.
• Americans spend almost $ 50 Billion on diet programs each year.
• The human brain is about 70% fat.
• Overweight (fat) people who are active are healthier than thin people who never exercise.
Reduced fat foods are not necessarily low in fat. 'Reduced Fat' on the label means it has at least 25% less fat than the traditional food. If you start out with a very high fat food, and reduce the fat by 25%, you may still end up with a food that has a lot of fat left. Read the nutrition label and compare the fat content to other foods.
Fats are referred to in the plural because there is no one type of fat. Fats are composed of the same three elements as carbohydrates - carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, However, fats have relatively more carbon and hydrogen and less oxygen, thus supplying a higher fuel value of nine calories per gram (versus four calories per gram from carbohydrates and protein).
One molecule of fat can be broken down into three molecules of fatty acids and one molecule of glycerol. Thus, fats are known chemically as triglycerides.
Fats are a vital nutrient in a healthy diet. Fats supply essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, which is especially important to childhood growth. Fat helps maintain healthy skin, regulate cholesterol metabolism and is a precursor of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that regulate some body processes. Dietary fat is needed to carry fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and to aid in their absorption from the intestine.
Reprinted from the International Food Information Council Foundation